Friday, February 2, 2018

January 2018 Book Review

It's my first book review of 2018!!! Who's excited?

Drew is!!! 

I read 7 books this month and ALL of them fill a prompt for the POPSUGAR book challenge - woot, woot! Unfortunately, I think Allison is probably ahead of me, but I know it's going to come down to the more challenging prompts, so I'm not sweating it...yet. {grin}

So here's what I read this month!

The Hurricane Sisters by Dorothea Benton Frank - Three generations of women in a family are each coming to a turning point in their lives. At first, I had a hard time getting into this book - it seemed to start off slow and stilted, but as it developed I really liked each of the storylines and the family members. This was the first book I read by this author and I could definitely read more!

If I Did It by Fred Goldman and Kim Goldman - This was our book club selection for the month and was such an interesting read. OJ basically told his 'love' story with Nicole Brown to a ghostwriter and shared an 'imaginary' telling of how the killing of Nicole and Ron Goldman 'could' have happened. I ended the book disliking him even more and feeling like he is a legit sociopath - about 75% of the book is about his life with Nicole before the murders, and he basically blames her for everything that went wrong in their relationship because he was always a perfect husband. The murder description is SO BIZARRE and then the things he does afterward are EVEN STRANGER. The really interesting part is the beginning and ending where the Goldman family talks about why they published this book even hating it since OJ has never paid them any of the settlement he owes. Very interesting, if totally crazy, read.

Deeply Odd by Dean Koontz - The 5th of 6 books in the Odd Thomas series. I really liked the first 2 or 3 books, but the stories have gotten really bizarre the last 2 books, and it's getting harder to stick to/finish this series. I'm glad there's just 1 more book because I want to finish but it's gonna be tough. For anyone interested after that lackluster review, Odd Thomas is a guy who has some psychic abilities and each book he has an adventure where he tries to stop something bad from happening based on some psychic information he receives. I really like Odd's character, but the stories have just gone downhill as the bizarre factor rises. Womp, womp.

The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket - I feel like this is getting a lot of press with the Netflix show, and it fit a category for the book challenge, so it seemed like a no-brainer. It was a cute story about 3 siblings whose parents die and their adventures with their terrible uncle who is their guardian and just wants to find a way to get their inheritance. I enjoyed it but don't really see myself reading any more of the series.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon - I had no idea what this book was about when I started it, but 2 friends recommended it, so I checked it out from the library without a clue about it. It's about an autistic boy who finds his neighbor's dog murdered, and he wants to solve the mystery and everything that happens after the incident. I really liked the story and loved the main character. It was heartbreaking to read about some of his autistic outbursts, and as a mother, it was hard to read about his inability to show affection or have anyone touch him - it would kill me if my kids didn't want me to hug them! It got a little tedious about 2/3 in with the LONGEST description of him taking the subway somewhere, but it picked back up, and I thought this was a unique, fun, yet touching, story.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell - I loved this book! Twins who write extremely popular fan fiction about a Harry Potter-esque series go to college. One twin, Wren, is ready to spread her wings, while the other, Cath, is dealing with serious anxiety about school. I grew to love both sisters, although Cath is definitely the main character, and watching Cath grow and get comfortable in her skin was awesome. There is a sweet love story too which you know I enjoyed. Each chapter ended with either some of the sisters' fan fiction or a portion of the actual 'series' and I skipped over a lot of that because it didn't add to the plot IMO, but the actual story was great.

The Heist by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg  - I used to LOVE the Stephanie Plum series, but I gave it up after about 17 books because the plots were too similar and the characters started to wear me down. I picked this book because I needed a book about a heist, and I figured with this title it had to be a good choice. Janet Evanovich can definitely write an enjoyable story - this one is about an FBI agent who has been tracking a thief for years but when she finally catches him the FBI actually decides to hire him to help them catch even bigger thieves. Hilarity ensues etc. It was a light, fun read, but I don't see myself continuing with the series unless I find myself in a lull of books because I could see this turning into Stephanie Plum part 2.

Here's hoping February yields as many (or more) books! I'm reading 1, have 2 sitting on my nightstand, Allison is loaning me one from her library, and 1 is on hold at the library, so I've got a good backlog going, yay!


Emily said...

Naturally I gravitate towards the light easy reads - aka: fangirl. :)

Anonymous said...

I’m excited for this post! I really liked the nightime dog book & may be reading The Heist for the challenge. I might be ahead of you in number, but that is only because I am knocking out the easy categories. You’ll beat me in the tougher ones...- AP

Kathryn Bagley said...

Cancel the Wedding is this month's bc read! i need to reread it :)

Erika said...

Nice mix of books! That OJ book sounds bizarre. Don't know if I could handle that. I read Curious Incident years ago but had forgotten about it, haha. I think of these, I'd pick the Hurricane Sisters based on the lovely cover art and your review!!! :)

Natasha said...

I Did It sounds really weird.

I loved Fangirl. In fact, I don't think I've met a Rainbow Rowell novel I didn't love :)